House in Santa Teresa / SPBR Arquitetos

© Nelson Kon

Architects: SPBR Arquitetos
Location: Santa Teresa, ,
Director in Charge: Angelo Bucci
Project Team: Ciro Miguel, João Paulo Meirelles de Faria, Juliana Braga, Suzana Jeque, Tatiana Ozzetti
Structural Engineer: Jorge Zaven Kurkdjian
Landscape Architect: Fernando Magalhães Chacel
Lighting: Ricardo Heder
Services: Alberto Chagas Barreto
Site Area: 4,488.65 sqm
Constructed Area: 481.41 sqm
Design Year: 2004
Construction Year: 2005–2008
Photographs: Nelson Kon

Santa Teresa is a historical neighborhood that offers some great views of the city of Rio de Janeiro. The house is located in one of the highest points of Santa Teresa’s hill. From the north side of the house it is possible to see the old downtown; from the south side, a more panoramic view of Pão de Açucar and the Guanabara Bay. The site starts at 100 m above sea level at the cable car street and finishes at 125m at a breathtaking viewpoint of Pão de Açucar.

section 01

The project takes into consideration the two pre-existent levels of the pronounced topography: 120 m and 125 m over sea level.

© Nelson Kon

At the lower level, there is a linear block that leads to the bedrooms and the office. Their main glass facade opens up to the enjoying garden on the east side. These two prismatic and linear volumes are opened on the east and west sides but are completely closed on the north and south sides, living the ground under them empty. The roof was designed to make a complementary ground on the upper plateau.

© Nelson Kon
© Nelson Kon

The living room is located over the higher plateau providing a view of downtown on the north side and of the Guanabara Bay and Pão de Açucar on the south. This volume is closed on the east and west sides to avoid sun heat and to emphasize the magnificent views on the other sides. It leaves the level below completely open. Thus, there is a bare level between bedrooms and living room which is filled by the kitchen, where, according to the traditional Brazilian culture, most people will spend their spare time.

site plan
© Nelson Kon

It is a spread out and blown-up construction that should become part of Rio de Janeiro’s landscape.

Cite: "House in Santa Teresa / SPBR Arquitetos" 26 Apr 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 27 May 2015. <>
  • Dimitris

    Fantastic site, beautiful design, great combination of materials.

  • architist


  • Richard M.

    Amazing project. Bucci is my favorite brazilian architect…

  • rodger

    impressive site. strange architecture.
    lots of great moments, heroic and bold, and lots of truly horrible ones also.

  • shetu

    simply awesome……extraordinarily matured design….tremendously inspiring project…….I don’t know much about this architect, but I’d like to see more of his projects.

  • Brent Watson

    SHEER BRILLIANCE !!!!!!!!!!!!


  • tim

    Aaarghhhhh i´m biting my fingers !!!!

  • Benjamin

    More like an industrial showroom than a house.

  • Robert Richard Paxton

    It remembers me a lot the “Junquera house” of the Brazilian architect Mendes da Rocha. The same “style”, but still an amazing house.

  • Cindy FrewenWuellner

    Lovely Rio. RT @archdaily: Incredible project, this is there I want to retire #architecture

  • eduardo

    really generous spaces.

  • Luiz Pereira Barreto

    Belíssimo projeto de casa no Rio de Janeiro,

  • archi

    This is BRILLIANT! Concrete has never looked so sexy.

  • Henry A.Vásquez Soto
  • arnold

    strange house. “modern”(?), but looks like built 20 years ago.

    - that I saw at first: the lack of construction quality. the concrete walls looks not good.
    - the second, that I saw, that this house don’t have some kind of elegance, grace and lightness. maybe if this house would be white, maybe it looks better?

    this building.. for me is not nice. he is havy and gloomy like abandoned factory department.

    • David Basulto


      I recommend you to take a look at the modern movement buildings in Brazil.

      With that in mind, you’ll notice that on this house every “effort” is put on the spans that enclose the spaces. Secondary elements are simple (which you might not find elegant), and don’t try to compete with the quality of the spaces.

      You can change the railings, you can paint the walls. But the spatial qualities are unique.

  • Nicholas Patten

    I'd Live Here: House in Santa Teresa.

  • Jaro Kukucka

    Another brutal concrete house:) #architecture

  • Guido Schröpel

    ARCHITEKTUR: Etwas brachial, aber irgendwie gut: Haus in Santa Teresa mit Blick auf Rio. SPBR Arquitetos; Archdaily –

  • Rê Brandão

    Uma viagem até o Rio, mais precisamente em Santa Teresa! SPBR #arquitetura

  • Arthur Francisco

    Suggestions: look at the points where the walls would touch the ground, the floating unaligned plans, the hierarchy of elements and – my favorite – the floor plans solutions.

  • Jake

    morreeer de inveja da vista, arquitetura residencial..

  • chyanne husar

    ok, last one for a bit – love the #spaces

  • Osvaldo Moyano Marin

    Tirando partido dos desníveis. Casa em Santa Teresa (RJ) / SPBR Arquitetos. #arquitetura

  • malu
  • Frederico

    So great! Gives me proud to be brazilian.